Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I paused and read the scriptures...

I am blessed beyond measure.
I was raised by wonderful parents, who blessed me with five beautiful siblings, all of whom mean more to me than I'll ever be able to express.
My relationship with my immediate family and extended family is very much in tact, which so many friends are not able to say. 
I get to do what I love. Pretty much all day every day. That's another post.
I have a loving husband, who was also raised with strong moral values and courage, and who provides and fathers and magnifies his duties at home, at work, at church, and otherwise.
I have been privelaged to carry three remarkable little boys in my womb, deliver them without much ado, and watch them grow into darling, healthy little boys, ages 9, 8 & 6.
I have been dealt a wonderful hand of cards.

BUT, aside from that obvious, outward display of the many ways I have been blessed, I have also been blessed to know, with a deep conviction, of God's plan for me. That's more inward and invisible, yet I still know that I am His daughter. I know that He loves me and cares for me. I do my best to let my light shine in a way that will truly glorify Him (Matthew 5:16). 

I believe that God put in place, in the spring of 1820, almost 200 years ago, a turn of events that would truly affect mankind forever, and for good. That was the year in which "The First Vision" took place. The rest, as they say, is history. One tangible effect of that vast history is a book which I have in my possession. It is The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is a companion to the many testimonies of Him in the Holy Bible. I love the scriptures.

Today, I felt impressed to pause for a moment, and read from The Book of Mormon. It was while I was eating my lunch, watching the news. CNN was broadcasting a live presidential address, where President Barrack Obama outlined the need for greater concern for our planet. He framed his comments with a quick history lesson - when humans first orbited the moon in the year 1968. Mankind was able to see something like they/we had never seen it before! A new appreciation for God's creation had been stirred. He further described the work of scientific advancements in these last couple hundred years, and within my heart and mind, a slight feeling of tension and fear began to erupt.
I felt (and still feel) a sense of sadness that we don't know how much longer this Earth will be able to sustain us. President Obama had been successful at addressing a need for change - with me, at least. I'm not trying to endorse one political party or person. Not at all. But the message - It's a message we all need to hear - and not only "hear" but DO something about! Just then, a thunderstorm rolled in, and my satellite signal was lost. I had just finished my lunch, was pondering on the meaning and gravity of the things I had just heard, and out the corner of my eye, I could see the Book of Mormon sitting on the ottoman, where it was left after "Family Home Evening" last night. I felt impressed that I should pause for a few minutes. I even had a specific book that I felt that I should turn to. In my mind, I could feel that Alma, Chapter 5 is where I should turn. And so I did. I read each word carefully and thoughtfully.  

I am here to say that I love that book of scripture. In this chapter, Alma the younger (son of Alma), is preaching to a wicked and idolotrous group of people in the land of Zarahemla. As I read it - this is going to sound so silly, but just hear me out - I could hear Alma the younger deliver his words almost as a presidential address - of a need for change! We've all heard an address like this. Think of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It is powerful! It is moving! THAT is the exact enthusiasm with which Alma the younger speaks! The subject is simple - Repentance and Salvation. And also a remembrance of their fathers and what they knew to be true. One of my favorite verses in the whole 62-verse chapter (full of wonderful verses - FULL!) is verse 38. Alma says: "Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which year are called, behold ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd." 

I testify that these words are true. I know that Jesus is "The Good Shepherd." He calls me to him, to listen to his voice, and to follow his admonitions. He loves me and wants me to be happy, and so, I will follow him.